The strength of Tetley Bitter, even in the final year of the war, surprises me. I remember it from the 1970s, when it was only about 3.5% ABV. Not much stronger than their Mild.
At almost 5% ABV, it was way stronger than most of the draught beers available in 1945. You were lucky to find anything over 3.5% ABV. Though it remained quite strong, the percentage fall in OG between K in 1939 and Bitter in 1945, at about 15%, is pretty much spot on the average.
There recipe has only a few elements: base pale malt, flaked barley, sugar and caramel. The sugar is something called ERC. Having no idea what that might have been, I’ve guessed No. 1 invert sugar. Hopefully it’s somewhere close.
The level of hopping – and the calculated IBUs – are incredibly low for a fairly strong Bitter. But even before the war Tetley’s hopping rates were very low, especially for their Bitter. The hops themselves were all from Kent, from the 1943 and 1944 crops.
|1945 Tetley Bitter|
|pale malt||5.75 lb||65.64%|
|flaked barley||1.25 lb||14.27%|
|No. 1 invert sugar||1.75 lb||19.98%|
|caramel 2000 SRM||0.01 lb||0.11%|
|Fuggles 120 mins||0.33 oz|
|Fuggles 90 mins||0.33 oz|
|Fuggles 30 mins||0.33 oz|
|Goldings dry hops||0.25 oz|
|Mash at||147º F|
|Sparge at||165º F|
|Boil time||120 minutes|
|pitching temp||64º F|
|Yeast||Wyeast 1469 West Yorkshire Ale|